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Newham Bookshop reopens in new site two doors down

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 January 2019

A crowdfunder was set up to help with the move. Picture: Ken Mears

A crowdfunder was set up to help with the move. Picture: Ken Mears

Archant

The beloved Newham Bookshop has reopened its doors - two doors down the road.

Part of the new premises. Picture: Ken MearsPart of the new premises. Picture: Ken Mears

A few months ago, the landlord made plans to extend another site, which would mean reducing the size of the bookshop by a third. The shop decided to sign a contract with a space a few doors down, and spent months fundraising for the move, which finalised just before Christmas.

Thanks to personal donations, an auction of signed books, limited edition prints and an online crowdfunder, £14,000 was raised in total.

Speaking on the EastCast show, John Newman, who works at the bookshop, said: “We’d been offered this really good contract, but we weren’t given any funding for putting the shop together – it was a shell.

“We’ve had fantastic support from the publishing industry, our customers and the local community, and we’ve had tradesmen coming in and giving us really competitive offers and support.”

Owner Vivian Archer in the new part of the bookshop. Picture: Ken MearsOwner Vivian Archer in the new part of the bookshop. Picture: Ken Mears

The shop was opened 40 years ago by a group of parents as an education charity, as a non-stigmatising way of providing literacy and numeracy classes. The goal was to address social inequality, and make sure children were being given the best start in life.

Although the charity side has closed, the children’s bookshop remains, and discounts are given to local schools.

“The fact we’re surviving is the big thing,” John said.

“The adult shop was a big space, full of books, but to be able to move into another space, it’s like starting again, revitalising us all. When you’re looking at moving thousands of books, it’s really daunting, but our customers have come in and given loads of time and been really supportive.”

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